INTERNATIONAL

Pakistan to hold general elections

Islamabad, May 27: Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain has set July 25 as the date for the country’s next general elections, the media reported on Sunday. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had sent a summary to the President on May 21, proposing the holding of the 2018 general elections on any date between July 25 and 27. An official from the President’s Office told Dawn news that Hussain had signed the summary approving July 25 as the polling date. Under Section 57 (1) of the Elections Act, 2017, the President announces the date for elections in consultation with the ECP after which the Commission is required to announce the schedule for the polls within seven days of the announcement. Sources in the ECP said a tentative schedule for the polls was ready and was most likely to be announced on Monday after formal approval. An ECP official said that it would be for the first time in the electoral history of the country that the scrutiny period would be extended from seven to eight days and the poll campaign period would be increased from 21 days to 28 days. The five-year term of the National Assembly and the Punjab Assembly will end on May 31 while the Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan assemblies will complete their terms on May 28. (IANS)